Therapy 101—The Practical Side

Are you a member of a gym? Or have you been a member of one in the past? If so, you have probably noticed 2 main types of people in your gym. The ones that over time become slimmer, more toned and more fit. And the people who week in and week out look the same. So, what is the difference? I would like to suggest that the main difference is what these individuals do BETWEEN gym sessions. For example, what are they eating and drinking? How much are they sleeping? Are they active even on the days you don’t see them in the gym? What happens outside of the gym is nearly just as important as what happens inside of it.

School is the same way. If I attend class every week, but never read or do my homework I probably will not make a high grade. In fact, lots of commitments we make in life require us to not only show up at appointed times, but also do some work in between our engagements. Psychotherapy is no exception.  Once you begin therapy it is important to remember that like most things in life what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. 

If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, another mental health issue or are facing a challenging life season, a seasoned therapist can help you. Once you begin therapy your therapist will explain how therapy works and the two of you will outline your treatment goals. The timeframe for treatment will depend on your current mental health needs. However, no matter what issue is addressed or the time-frame involved, it is helpful to remember the following things you can do to get as much as possible out of therapy:

  1. Commit to go to therapy regularly—usually it is weekly in the beginning, as time goes on moving to every other week is typical, etc.
  2. Show up for your appointments/don’t be late.
  3. Complete all out-of-session/homework assignments.
  4. Come to therapy with topics to discuss that you are working on based on your current needs.
  5. Commit to engage in self-care and be prepared each session to share how that is going—be it journaling, mindfulness, etc. 
  6. Don’t give up!  We are all a work in progress and sometimes healing takes longer than we originally expected.

For therapy to be successful, you will need to do some work—including the things mentioned above.  However, like most good things in life that require hard work and sacrifice, therapy will be worth it.  Committing to the process and all that comes with it will help you find healing and happiness so that you can live your best life now. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.


Yolanda Brailey